Bitcoin: Sovereignty through Security
The rise of Bitcoin has introduced two important necessities for the modern day sovereign individual: security and privacy. Bitcoin wouldn’t be one of the most powerful forces for freedom without it’s censorship resistance, hand in hand with it’s privacy and security. These important traits of Bitcoin often get overlooked in the mainstream media, with all the hype mainly centered around price and scarcity.
People engage in Bitcoin because of 1 of 2 reasons: You were curious, or you had no choice. The security and privacy of Bitcoin allows political refugees to escape out of control governments and collapsing currencies with just 24 words on a piece of paper, or even in their head. Before Bitcoin, asylum seekers were limited to what they could physically carry across the border while risking theft. What may seem just an intriguing new form of money for some people in more privileged countries, could be the difference between life and starvation elsewhere.
Government issued currencies are typically associated with risks of hyperinflation and collapse, but not nearly as much as something just as bad: control and coercion. One of the most powerful tools that modern governments have to control people is their money, especially as we move to digital platforms and “cash bans” become more common globally.
China is a great case study on this, as they have an almost entirely digital money that also ties into their social credit score system that ranks citizens on a variety of things such as spending habits and even civil offenses such as jaywalking. The power held over people within the credit system is not just that they can be monitored, but that they can essentially have their entire economic position shut down. The ability to blacklist people and prevent them from engaging in economic activity is entirely due to the digital nature and centralization of their money.
Bitcoin has central banks backed into a corner as it directly threatens their monopoly on money. As people start to catch on to the fragility of the system, central banks are now forced to introduce Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) in hopes of competing with Bitcoin. Do not be fooled, as there is no chance that CBDCs will actually be decentralized or anything like Bitcoin. The worrying thing about CBDCs is that they will give even more control to central banks for purposes such as imposing negative rates, blacklisting people, and seizing wealth. Without the ability to withdraw into cash or have sovereignty over one’s wealth, the fiat system is further enforced through the introduction of CBDCs. Bitcoin acts as an escape valve in this situation, and is touched on beautifully in Jeff Booth’s The Greatest Game.
As they bring in their own digital currencies though, they bring much more attention, network effects, and accelerated innovation to the challenger because more of the public becomes aware of the manipulation and what it means to them. - Jeff Booth
Bitcoin’s security doesn’t just come down to technicals of mining or cryptography either. As Bitcoin grows and gets added to the balance sheets of funds, companies and legendary investors alike, it also gains an exponential level of security added by vested interest of those new network participants. Every company that adopts Bitcoin now has an incentive to protect it, including the lawyers, executives, and government officials who also have an interest in the growth of said company. You are either a network participant, or you are losing.
With all this in mind, it is imperative that Bitcoin holders are practicing proper techniques to ensure full privacy and control. Not your keys, not your coins. Whether you prefer a hardware wallet such as Bitbox, a seed phrase stamped into metal, or a full multisig setup, you need to make sure that you have control over your Bitcoin. There is no point in Bitcoin if you do not have full sovereignty and ownership of your own coins, and this has been displayed numerous times dating back to events such as Mt Gox where fortunes were lost. How far you want to take your Bitcoin security is ultimately up to you, and a good place to start for further reading is the Ministry of Nodes.
At paybtc we place our users security at the top of our priority list, as we believe the values of Bitcoin should be carried over as much as possible when bridging to fiat. Holding your own keys coincides with holding less fiat, which is at the core of what we try to help Bitcoiners with. If you have any questions about the handling of your data, feel free to contact us through https://paybtc.com.au/help.